The “agile methodology” is making its presence more well-known, and, increasingly, teams are trying to adopt it to improve their performance when completing projects with increased efficacy and reduced costs.
Among their many advantages, agile teams give you the ability to respond to changes quickly and with minimal disruption to workflow, but implementing it takes a more than a token commitment. You’ll have to adopt a new workplace philosophy and should follow a few guidelines to make sure that your transition goes as smoothly as possible.
#1 Know your role
In one sense, you’re the team-building visionary who’s going to bring the full capacity of the agile philosophy to work. At the same time, however, you have to allow for flexibility, leave some room for change, and give your team the confidence to air their opinions.
#2 You should hit the ground running
Once the team is refreshed and back from their Hawaii tours and other exotic vacations, you’ll need to get to work straight away by familiarizing yourself with the technology you’ll be working with, the challenges at hand, and how you’ll define your team’s purpose.
#3 You’ll need to know what problems you’re solving
The team can’t succeed if they don’t have direction. Your job is to solve problems, but you can’t tackle those problems if you don’t know what they are. On top of that, not every problem is the one you should be addressing in the current moment. Identify the right ones, then get your team to work.
#4 Then you’ll need to keep the pace going
If you and the team lose steam, you’ll be less able to handle the challenges you’ll encounter.
Do your best to maintain a steady pace by encouraging the team to communicate openly and giving them the tools they need to do their jobs. This isn’t to say there’s no place for breaks.
By all means, take five to run through your growing email list or your Plumfund.com account, but keep it structured and get right back on target afterward.
#5 Some planning is required
This planning will come in the form of meetings, organized by you, with the purpose of identifying those short-term goals and how they relate to the long-term objective.
#6 Prioritize face-to-face communication
It’s the most effective means of communication. It allows you to convey the maximum amount of information in the most efficient manner possible and cuts down the likelihood of your message being misinterpreted.
#7 Motivation is key
You have to have motivated individuals to get the best work. Fill your team with members who have the drive to succeed, and give them the responsibility to handle what they need to in the way they best know how.
#8 Let your team self-organize
Remember, your job is not to micro-manage the team, order them to perform specific tasks, or make big decisions on their behalf. Your job is to facilitate, and part of doing so is allowing your team to form the structure that works best.
#9 Keep things simple when possible
This speaks for itself. Use simple terms when communicating and simple metrics to measure your success when you can, else you’ll run the risk of over complicating things unnecessarily.
#10 Get in the habit of regularly reviewing work
This will allow your team to measure how effective their efforts have been, and adjust strategy accordingly to better meet their goals.